A research seminar with Mats Alvesson and Jörgen Sandberg.
Despite the huge increase in the number of management articles published during the three last decades, there is a serious shortage of high-impact research in management studies. We contend that a primary reason behind this paradoxical shortage is the near total dominance of incremental gap-spotting research in management. This domination is even more paradoxical as it is well known that gap-spotting rarely leads to influential theories. We identify three broad and interacting key drivers behind this double paradox: institutional conditions, professional norms, and researchers’ identity constructions. We discuss how specific changes in these drivers can reduce the shortage of influential management theories.
Mats Alvesson is Professor of Business Administration at the University of Lund, Sweden, and University of Queensland Business School, Australia. His research interests include critical theory, gender, power, professional services firms, organizational culture, leadership, identity, organizational image, qualitative methods and philosophy of science. Recent books include Understanding Gender and Organizations (Sage, 2009, with Y. Billing), Reflexive Methodology (Sage, 2009, with K. Sköldberg), Knowledge Work and Knowledge-Intensive Firms (Oxford University Press, 2004), Changing Organizational Culture (Routledge, 2008, with S. Sveningsson), Interpreting Interviews (Sage, 2010) and Understanding Leadership in the Real World. Metaphors We Lead By (Routledge, 2010, edited with A. Spicer). Address: Department of Business Administration, University of Lund, Sweden. Email: email@example.com.
Jorgen Sandberg is a Reader in Management in the School of Business at the University of Queensland. His research interests include competence and learning in organizations, leadership, practice-based theories, qualitative research methods and the philosophical underpinnings of organizational research. He is currently carrying out research on practice theory in organization studies, frameworks and methodologies for developing more interesting and relevant theories and sensemaking in organizations. His work has appeared in several journals including Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Harvard Business Review, Journal of Management Studies, Organization, Organisational Research Methods and Organization Studies. Address: UQ Business School, The University of Queensland, Australia.